So, here are the random thoughts and events of the past week or so...
We are still "home" in the USA, awaiting our June 23rd departure date for Peru. We continue to wait for our Peruvian visas, which are delayed - again. It appears that we will now have to enter the country as tourists on a 90 day visa and work from within the country to get our residency visas finalized. This means that when the visas are ready, we will have to leave the country and travel to Chile, then re-enter the country as "residents". Which means that we will incur the unbudgeted cost of extra travel to Chile. Oh well - such is business in Latin America.
We have been super busy speaking at church services, dessert receptions, dinners, etc. I think that we are finally finished with the "scheduled" speaking engagements. However, there is a long list of people who still would like some time with us and want to meet for lunch, or dinner, or coffee, or whatever. We are flattered and overwhelmed that anyone really wants to sit and eat and talk to us! My stomach has had enough, though... it is in a constant state of "complaint". It has become a running joke now - everywhere we go, someone tries to send home food with us (which is so nice). However, my mom's refrigerator is overflowing and our waistlines are ever growing. This morning is Billy's weekly coffee and donuts date with his accountability/bible study men's group and I begged him to NOT bring me donuts! I didn't eat dinner last night because I'm so miserably stuffed, and I don't intend to eat breakfast either. So if you really want to meet with us and talk, that's great... but I'll be having water, thanks.
Sarah has learned to swim since we have been home. My mom is a member of a gym and she arranged for us to have a one month membership so we could take Sarah to the pool while we are home. (I realize that at this point in the story, some of you are making the connection between my overeating and the gym membership... just hush!) So we have been taking Sarah to the pool and she has decided that she no longer needs her ring and she can swim "like a grownup". Within the past few days, she has thrown away the ring and started swimming like a fish! She is now the proud owner of dive rings, which she is working diligently to recover from the bottom of the pool. "It's hard, because my booty floats!", she said on the first day of her attempts. Yesterday, she was able to jump in and swim to the middle of the competition-size pool without help. She and Billy also spent almost an hour doing stunts... Sarah being thrown by Billy, doing flips and standing on his shoulders for two-man stunts, etc. The lifeguard in me was having a fit, but the swim team in me was so proud!
Our old lab died this week. He was 15, so he had lived plenty of life for a lab!!! Actually, about 10 years ago, he had heartworms and we did the treatments to try to save him from that, at which time the vet told us that he might have another 3 years in him. So we feel like he really got a lot more out of life than was to be expected. He was Ryan's dog... Ryan got him when he was in kindergarten. Ryan is now a junior in college, so he and Rex have been together for a long time. It was a pretty tough blow for Ryan. Not that we didn't expect it, and not that we didn't know that sooner or later Rex was going to die, but you're still not ready to deal with it when it happens. So late the other night, Ryan and Miles and Billy buried Rex in the garden at my grandmother's house, and we all shed a few tears and said goodbye. It has been a year of goodbyes and losses...
Today we will do more sorting and decision making... we are trying to finalize our packing for Peru. We need to get it done so we can let the team in Peru know exactly how many bags and how much weight we are bringing. They need to make arrangements for transportation once we arrive in Lima and some of our bags will have to be shipped by bus from Lima to Huancayo. So we are trying to decide what we need, what is practical, what is not important, etc. It's not my favorite activity... remember, I had a nervous breakdown trying decide whether to keep clothes hangers when we moved last year!
Well, if you made it this far in reading this post, I'm worried about you. Surely you have better things to do! They have counselors for this sort of thing... Seriously, thanks for hanging in there with us and supporting us, and caring enough to read even the most mundane things about our lives right now. Within a few short weeks, we will have more exciting posts from new and exciting places... just hang in there :)